Guide to Becoming a Teacher in West Virginia
If you’re hoping to become a teacher in West Virginia, ToBecomeATeacher.org is the best place to start. This page describes the key steps you’ll need to take to be a licensed West Virginia teacher and obtain your ideal teaching position.
1. Choosing a Program: The first step is to find a teaching program that supports your budget and career goals.
- Finding an appropriate program is the first and most important step on your journey. To ensure you select a program that meets your needs, it is important to ask smart questions. What is important to you as a student? Are you concerned about the cost of the program or the amount of debt you might incur? Does the program’s graduation rate matter? Are you concerned about the program’s history of job placement? Is there a specific specialization you hope to pursue and does the program offer this specialization?
2. Planning for Licensure in West Virginia: In West Virginia, you will need a minimum of a bachelor degree and an appropriate post-graduate degree in education. You will also need to write and pass the state’s applicable certification exams for teachers.
3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed your education and passed the applicable exams, you can launch your teaching career in West Virginia.
- At this point, it is important to consider the type of teaching environment in which you hope to work? Are you interested in working in a city, small town or rural community? What are your lifestyle priorities? What are your salary expectations? During this stage of the process, you should also keep developing your profile as an educator. Also, don’t hesitate to network with local educators. This will help you to enter the market with a competitive edge and give you further insight into upcoming openings in local schools.
Choosing an Education Program in West Virginia
ToBecomeATeacher.org understands that choosing the right teacher licensure program can be challenging. With the aid of a complex algorithmic tool, we have ranked education programs across the state. Using 2015 data, our team has analyzed total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, return on investment and much more.
Every school ToBecomeATeacher.org lists below has committed themselves to the pursuit of excellence in teacher education. These programs are West Virginia’s very best. Find out which ones best match your own priorities by reviewing the information below.
Bluefield State College
West Virginia University Institute of Technology
West Virginia State University
Fairmont State University
West Liberty University
Ohio Valley University
Alderson Broaddus University
|#||Name||Expense Score||Acceptance Rate Score||Graduation Rate Score||ROI/Value Score||Student to Faculty Score|
|1||Bluefield State College||9.5||9.4||4.29||9.5||5.3|
|2||West Virginia University Institute of Technology||8.9||8.5||3.7||8.9||8.4|
|3||West Virginia State University||7.9||9.2||3.46||7.9||5.3|
|4||Fairmont State University||8.4||7||5.84||8.4||2.1|
|6||West Liberty University||6.3||6.5||6.92||6.3||6.8|
|8||Ohio Valley University||3.7||10||5.67||3.7||10|
|9||Alderson Broaddus University||2.6||9.3||7.53||2.6||5.3|
Ranking Factors Explained
Our ranking data is based upon Collegescorecard.gov, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.
How to Become a Teacher in West Virginia
West Virginia is a beautiful state that attracts people who enjoy the outdoors and want to live within close access to nature. Their overall cost of living is below national average, and the state spends slightly more per student in education than average. Combined with their ongoing focus on finding innovative ways to fill teacher positions and a recently approved alternative route to teacher certification program, the state is ripe for aspiring educators to enter the field. According to recent test scores, many students in grades four and eight rate below what is considered proficient in reading and math.
Becoming Licensed to Teach in West Virginia
Since West Virginia is offering an alternative route to teaching certification, professionals in any field can bring their experience and expertise into the classroom. Online courses at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level are available from the University of Charleston, which can be used as an educational experience to obtain an alternative teaching license. Bluefield State College also offers a variety of courses online, asynchronously, for individuals working toward a bachelor of arts and other fields of study.
In order to become a certified teacher a candidate in West Virginia must first pass the Basic Skill Test requirement. They also must complete testing in a specific subject area in order to become certified. The link below will provide specific information about the PPST basic skills test and the Praxis tests for specialty areas:
- PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test
- Praxis II: Subject Tests in your specialty area
- Praxis II: PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching)
West Virginia provides several resources for teacher to gain their certification. They may take the exams online or onsite. This process typically includes an seminars in educational theory and classroom application along with fieldwork components of student teaching in the area.
What resources do teachers have to help them during their careers in West Virginia?
Starting with the West Virginia Department of Education website, teachers can find resource links to research, directories, data and more. This site is the go-to for West Virginia teachers and administrators to find out what mandates and decisions affect them at the state level and which programs are available throughout both the school year and during breaks. Job postings for teaching positions covering Kindergarten through twelfth grade are also found here.
Another great resource for teachers in West Virginia is the West Virginia Division of Culture and History archives. Information provided on their site includes, lesson plans, historical documents, data, and history by county and images that teachers can include in the projects they are planning. Additional historical documents can be found at the Library of Congress website dedicated to classroom materials organized by state.
Teachers are encouraged to find a professional association to join to meet with other educators, obtain ongoing training and receive important state and national news that applies to their career. Some of the most popular teacher associations include the following:
- West Virginia Professional Educators
- West Virginia Education Association
- West Virginia Science Teachers Association
- West Virginia School Board Association
- West Virginia Music Teachers Association
What is the job outlook for teaching careers in the state of West Virginia?
There are significant teacher shortage areas in the state of West Virginia and, as such, the Department of Education has responded with an alternative teacher certification program meant to fill these areas. According to the Department’s website, one in eighteen teachers are certified through the alternative program. Math, science, and special education teachers are some of the most needed, although many counties have shortages in every subject area.
Some argue that the outlook for teachers would be best supported by an increase in teacher salaries. The annual salary schedule from the Board of Education for each county is available online and shows that West Virginia is within range for averages across all states, even though it has a lower than average cost of living. The average salary for teachers is between $40,000 and $45,000 annually, dependent on experience and subject area.
What online programs are available to potential teachers in the state of West Virginia?
West Virginia University has online programs for professional development, graduate degrees, and more for teachers and educators. The programs offered at the school can be entirely online, or a hybrid of online and in-class study depending on the needs and goals of the teacher enrolled. Interestingly, the school has some outside partners that offer courses through the institution, which makes it possible for teachers to receive academic credit for their involvement.
Teaching in West Virginia would mean helping many children get the basic literacy and language skills they would need to succeed in an ever-more competitive workforce. The state needs qualified individuals who are interested in helping students succeed during their educational journey and will encourage them to continue their education after high school graduation.
In addition, teaching in West Virginia may include helping revamp the education system to better serve teachers, students and parents who attend public school in the state. Recent debates over Common Core show that the state is looking for promising ways to improve their education system. There is room and ongoing opportunities for involvement beyond the classroom.